Category Archives: Art Journal – PT Round Robin 08/09

Obsessed & Assessed


Hi there all those out in blog land…..thanks for being faithful readers – even when I don't follow through with writing up where I am at in the studio.  At the moment – breathing a sigh of relief – end of year assessment is done & dusted, (a fav saying of my DH), & I am in what I call the 'fall out zone'.  It always occurs after a 'big push' event.  I just slept for the first 48 hours!  (UNHEARD OF for me!)

I had 62 pieces to submit – some of which you have seen along the way during the semester – (some of the prints, & book making) others you haven't – partly because they are pretty poor standard & partly because I haven't been diligent about photographing everything & I have lots of scanning to do.  For tonight, I will just leave you with this one………this is my oil painting submission – a triptych called 'fragile life' .  I have included my 'artist statement' below.

Fragile life triptych

fragile life

intentionally primitive,

avoiding the appearance of anatomical pregnancy biology,

this work explores the fragility of the formation of life.

that despite a parent’s best care & intentions,

they have no control over the outcome of a pregnancy

& only with a touch of the divine,

can life be given & sustained.

indicative of the complex web

of spiritual, natural, emotional & physical elements

the textural & interwoven brush stokes & colour

belie the interplay of fears & anxieties after conception




Keron Lee 2009

 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. Psalm 139:13 

this is a 'zentangle' style page spread that I did for a visiting RR JOURNAL last week… explores all of the self doubt & uncertainty I was feeling post submission…..posing the question – IF, in my very being I am compelled to create art – does that of itself, make me an artist?



The Hand That Paints the Sky


 IMG_1815_resizeIMG_0243_resize IMG_0193_resize IMG_0117_resize IMG_0025_resize IMG_1102_resize IMG_1249_resize IMG_2216_resize IMG_0009_resize IMG_2368_resize

I have had the priviledge of seeing this view for the last 18 years, knowing that our time here is drawing to a close, each one seems more amazing and more beautiful than the last.  These are just a sprinkling of the many shots I have from our front balcony…….having experienced a particularly beautiful one lately - I felt compelled to record it somehow in an artful way (other than photographing it)Hand-that-Paints-the-Sky

 I had Letha's 'Monochromatic Me' RR Journal on my desk & I thought it would be a beautiful addition.  This page has many layers & is quite textured.  I have built up layers of Golden Acrylics (ahhhhhh – my first love – I am SO over OIL PAINT! [you know the stuff 'real artists use' – well that's what my tutors keep telling me! LOL!])  First I layed down a base of Hansa Yellow – which I know is quite bright, but I wanted to build a luminous feel to the pages.  There are layers of Burnt Sienna, Mars Yellow, Red Oxide, Indian Yellow Hue & Burnt Umber.  These were topped with a glaze of the delicious Qunacridone Nickel Azo Gold……..followed by touches of perfect pearls, primary elements, H2o's, gold leaf & sealed with Liming Wax to stop the pages sticking.  It is quite built up & textured in real life.



I know that heading is a little alarming – but it needs to be.  I help to moderate the fabulous mixed media yahoo group called Paper Traders & every year since our inception, we have had a Round Robin Journal Project & I have hosted the project for the last 3 years.  For the uninitiated, basically – 12 people (our limit) make a journal, decide on a topic, then send their journal of on a travelling adventure around the world.  The journals rotate monthly, and each artist makes a page in everyone's journal until they finally recieve their own back.  Each time we have done it, there have been glitches along the way & sadly, we have people who have not honoured their commitments and literally just not sent journals back to their owners – but what happened this last month has taken the cake!  This month it appears that a international, priority paid, tracked & insured parcel has been very carefully opened (SO CAREFULLY – I can't see how it's been done) and looked through the 3 journals & the other contents of the box – and decided to keep one of the journals and the extra bits & bobs sent to me by the previous artist – and carefully seal the IMG_0002_resizebox back up. 

The box left USA weighing 5lbs 8.5oz and arrived to me in Oz weighing barely 4lb.  Despite there being no signs what so ever of tampering, the box was crushed down one side where the journal and other things 'had been' and now the two remaining journals moved around in the box.  That's where the fun began – despite having all of the safeguards in place, no one could tell us (person who sent parcel, me as recipient or the missing journals' owner) at what point the weight of the parcel changed.  A claim has been put in for insurance, which is SOMETHING at least for the trouble, but I am sure that we'd all just prefer to be able to post our art and know it's safe.  I have to say, I have posted things all around the continent & the world for years, and for the most part, I haven't had a problem.  THIS ONE takes the cake though!   I would caution anyone reading this to think carefully about what you write as the 'contents' of a parcel sent.  You need to use words that are 'honest' for security reasons – but not descriptive enough to raise the interest of any 'would-be' thief.  Perhaps words like: book, paperwork, printed matter, if anyone has any others, it'd be good to hear them.

As host, I felt just terrible about this happening – especially as the pics I had seen of the original journal showed that it was fabulous (no wonder 'peeping thomas/thomasina' decided to steal it!).  The subject was 'The White Rabbit' and being a big Alice fan, I had things on hand that I thought I would be able to use to restore the journal.  It's not perfect, but it is better than getting nothing back.  So here's some pics of the a couple of pages & the cover of the new journal, including a couple of litho etchings I did as my own contribution to the journal.

IMG_0001_resize The Red Queen's Birthday Party IMG_0004_resize IMG_0003_resizeIMG_0021_resize IMG_0009_resizeIMG_0022_resize

Things Invisible


Things invisible L web this amazing journal is another of the Paper Traders' current round robin art journal project.  Clever Connie has some how or another managed to bind pages between wooden palettes which are the front & back covers.  It was fun working on an obscure page shape.  Rather than cover the whole thing, I stuck a piece of cold press watercolour paper as a central block, which gave me a 'certain surface' that I knew would recieve ink in a particular manner, & then just gave the edges a framed, flow on effect.Things invisible R web I was surprised to find myself reaching for 'pastel flowers' to complete the 'spring' side of the page, but there you go – never say NEVER!


2 Up


Two-up-web While I was in China 18 months ago, I bought some solid calligraphy inks, but (gulping guiltily) I hadn't actually gotten around to using them, for lots of reasons.  Recently as a part of my course, we have been doing a 4 week block on ink drawing & as a result I have learned to use them & appreciate the detailing in the fine grain of the ground carbon.  It is a completely random effect as you have little control over how the ink 'puddles' & thus ultimately turns out.  This page I have complete is for Bekki's 'hands' journal, describing our traditional game of 2 up, played with pennies.  As Bek's is a fan of all things Asian, I thought this would be a good application for the inks.

(and YES, I managed to source some original pennies [these were discontinued in 1966 when our currency changed to decimal])

Life is busy – and complicated


US-heros-RHS-web US-heros-LHS-web Life is busy and as I have said in the title – complicated – at the moment.  I am doing a whole lot of experimenting with metals in the hopes to produce something per-itttty spesh – BUT it's been much trial – MANY errors and NOT much result lately.    HUGE mess – my kitchen has looked like one of those ferral back alley factories where 'widgets' are made.  You know, the ones that lean, gawky looking, grime covered men come out of at 4 o'clock, carrying an aging esky (themal lunch carrier) & a time battered thermos with only remenants of the colour it used to be… ……urkkkk………it's a mess….I need to work in the kitchen as I don't have water in my studio (which is really a big bedroom that was seconded the day my youngest moved out)…………I am hoping in time to have a bigger studio with plumbing – I have been saving an old enamel sink 4eva – especially for this purpose……..THIS IS THE DAY THOUGH – I have some new process and products to try today and I have spent DAYS talking to 'knowers' so I have a whole lot of different ideas to try today.  Hopefully one of them works!

The collage pages above are for a fellow Paper Trader's RR journal on American Idols, depicting one of my 'non art' passions – THE WEST WING – my life would be complete if it just went 4EVA – I mean – how many shows do you get where there is no constant soap opera drama's, needless swearing, overly embarrasing steamy sex scenes, and there IS fascinating dialogue that still intrigues me despite having watched it 27 times!  These pages are quite 'clean' work compared to what I ordinarily do for collage, but I didn't want to obscure the elements of the page – and wanted to keep it RED, WHITE & BLUE (ie the colours of the flag) without 'muddying' it up as I normally would with Walnut Ink or Moonglow or something.

And of course all of this set within the context of our state being on fire – I don't know if it is possible – but I think that I have run out of adrenaline – we have been on fire alert for so long now (2 weeks) – everytime the fire siren rings out (we are at the base of a mountainside, & the  township below us) – I furtively look around the house – check the fire service website (when I have a connection) – and feel a little disoriented - I keep looking around me – wondering whether this could be it.Adorn-segment-web

With each alert – I have continued to par down with regard to ‘packing to go’ – the first time I threw a whole lot of my rubber stamps loose, into a 'green' shopping bag (I realized the folly of this later – faced with the  mammoth job of resorting them and putting them back afterward), I had some of my art journals and handmade books

I am resigned now with getting just my portable harddrive, (about the size of a small hardcovered book) the dogs and I have two boxes of photos that are living on our kitchen bench at the moment – if the rest goes – it goes – that’s just how it is. 

THANK YOU – THANK YOU to all of you kind, dear heARTed people who have emailed to see Mothers heART segment webhow we are going – and that we are safe.  You don't have to worry – we are fine – the main fires are no where near us – we just live in a quite vunerable area that has a major fire every 4 -6 years and despite my DH INSISTING – it'd never happen in our particular street because of some geography – fire doesn't go 'down a mountainside' yada, yada, yada – I just don't know where he gets such trollop – in these fires he'd have be the one burnt in the car trying to escape after realising that infact fires can and often do – WHAT they like!) – and it's just all a bit worrying being amongst it right now.  One of the LOVEly sides of the art community has been how many people have been emailing and keeping us in their thoughts and prayers.  AGAIN – thank you.  Lately I have been battling my old enemy, then tension between anonymity and recognition – sometimes I want to tell the world everything and have you all laugh, cry and love with me – and other times I don't want to talk at all.  Add to that a few change of life hormones and ongoing financial challenges, and BINGO! – a perfect combo for dissolving into a sad and sorry lump.
My jewellery pliers have been busy - working hard on some new 'story telling jewellery'.  Darling Nina calls it 'Narrative Jewellery' how I DO love that name – she is SO clever!  Alpha stamps is releasing a whole lot of new jewellery product & it is just starting to trickle into the online shop – it's from Bekky Nunn and it is JUST divine.  I can only show you snippets at the moment, cost it's not all released – but it's really nice….go check it out.

Have I lost the PLOT???


Windows-RHS-web  I know that I Windows-LHS-webhaven't been posting much art – and I am sorry about that -there's been lots on and preps for various things – and yada, yada, yada, you get it….busy – these pages are something I did in Teri's RR journal about Doors & Windows – the quote reads 'A house without books is like a room without windows.  No man has a right to bring up his children without surrounding them with books.  If he has the means to buy them' (Horace Mann)  I LOVE this quote – and having confessed to you once before about my love of books, you will understand that I wholeheARTedly agree with Horace Dear!    At Paper Traders we have had an altered Domino swap – & I created these treasures – I made some extras and they will be for sale in my Etsy shop…….once I photograph them & post them.  The back is decorated vintage Paris scenes, the front has lock plate attached with vintage brass screws.  The text reads, 'A door is adorned with the colours of the lives that have passed through it' The pieces are quite textural, like an old painted door that has coat after coat as various occupants have moved in & out of the residence.IMG_2333_resize

Secrets & Journals


Losses from last week and HOT HOT weather have left me a bit listless and flat…… grasping for my muse………I CANNOT believe how many people I have spoken to recently that have embarrasingly confessed that they are or have been struggling with depression…….I am sure it is the modern day PLAGUE…….it seems that many people are suffering days when hope is hard to find and the future seems too bleak to contemplate………

What creativity have managed to summon has been directed to finishing off some work that is not due for release yet for Alpha Stamps – I will be able to show you soon – it's an exciting project & one that I have loved doing…….. last weekend I finished off these two projects.  I created these pages for a tip in journal about cats…….SO-fisti-Cats-web

and these pages for an RR journal about Water & the Sea

…..I have done a little drawing…. but nothing remarkable……… these are a couple of my more recent ones……….042-I-am-Thankful-for-web

I am proud to be a human today


I realise that not every Front-cover-webone agrees with this man's politics – and there are some things that I am not keen on either – however I feel that he carries the blood of all of the martyrs that have paid with their lives for true equality & freedom.  As a student of history, I have always held the mistreatment and subjugation of African American people heavily in my heart, I feel proud, I feel as though as mankind – we have taken a huge leap into the future…. and it is not my politics!   In a 5 minutes to midnight decision – (actually – WAY past midnight  actually – (thanks for your patience J!) I have, coincidentally changed the direction of my RR Journal.  Unusual for me, the book is bound & the cover is sewn on.  It's made from 600lb Artistico Fabrico (yum!)  I have used a delicious palette of Golden paints: Diox Purple; Gold; Quinacidone Nickel Azo Gold (a firm fav) and black.  It is dramatic, but very tactile on the cold pressed paper. 
I will still finish my Star Cross'd Lovers – but not for a little while – I have made a whole lot of bits & pieces & haven't worked out how I am going to tie them together.  (how like me!) My new Journal is titled FREEDOM.  I have sent it off into the world with just double page spread – hoping that it will come back filled with amazing stories of martyrs & journeys made in the conquest to achieve freedom.  Dr Martin Luther King Jr has long been an inspiration to me & I was also a fan of Kennedy – not because they lived seamlessly perfect lives – because they believed in the good of mankind and they believed in thI-have-a-dream-RHS-webe possibility of change & the process of democracy.  I-have-a-dream-LHS-web  YES – WE CAN – and YES – they DID!

oh… & p.s. – the background of the page is Martin Luther King Jr's whole 'I have a Dream' speech written out long hand.